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Thursday, 19 October 2006
Page: 164

Mr Georganas asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, in writing, on 10 May 2006:

(1)   Will the Minister rule out the Government introducing changes to legislation that will allow the ABC to broadcast advertising.

(2)   Will the Minister publicly release the report it commissioned from KPMG in late 2005 concerning efficiency and funding of the ABC; if so, when; if not, why not.

(3)   For each financial year since 1996-1997, what sum has the Government allocated to the ABC.

(4)   Is the Minister able to say how funding for the ABC compares to the public funding that public broadcasters in other OECD countries receive.

Mr McGauran (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) —The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

(1)   The Minister has previously said that Government is not considering advertising on the ABC.

(2)   The review was considered by government in the context of the 2006-07 Budget and contains information which is commercial-in-confidence to the ABC. The Minister will consider releasing an appropriate version of the review’s findings, but no decision has been made about this.

(3)   The total appropriations for the ABC for the years from 1996-97 are shown below. These figures include equity injections and grant funding for the ABC Asia Pacific TV service but exclude repayable loans. 1996-97: $531.212m 1997-98: $468.496m 1998-99: $485.578m 1999-00: $632.362m 2000-01: $664.230m 2001-02: $743.675m 2002-03: $794.113m 2003-04: $744.665m 2004-05: $775.712m 2005-06: $792.854m 2006-07: $822.677m (not including ABC AP TV grants which are still under negotiation).

(4)   A report commissioned by the ABC in 2002 concluded that Australian public broadcasters ranked 9th of 17 OECD countries in terms of public funding per capita. A report by McKinsey & Co in 2004 found that Australia ranked 7th out of 12 OECD countries in terms of public funding for public broadcasting per capita.